Eldred’s latest play measures up

Ellie Rambo, Staff Reporter

A problem play like Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” defies easy categorization. Although the story ends in marriage, like many of the Bard’s comedies, dark subject matter drives the plot. The Theater Department’s spring production reflected this conflict well.

Occasionally the acting in this production did not stand up to the quick changes in tone, but most of the student actors played their parts well. Comedic characters like Lucio, an unprincipled gentleman played by Brett DiCello, lightened the mood. Elizabeth Huddleston, who played the novice nun Isabella, was a convincing sister in distress to a nobleman condemned to die for fathering a child out of wedlock. As this central storyline focused on a possible beheading, the play was understandably morbid.

Death and love were equally important here, and neither was presented as purely positive or negative. Isabella preferred the idea of her brother’s death to her own corruption, and another gentlewoman loved the play’s villain so blindly that she was willing to devote her life to him. He in turn was humanized, however briefly, by his initial love for Isabella. This production tackled one of Shakespeare’s more uneven works and succeeded in conveying the play’s thematic contradictions.